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US Congress Sub-Committee on Africa: Ethiopia Promise or Perils

Aklog Birara

On November 30, 2023, I attended the highly anticipated hearing of the US Congress Sub-Committee on Africa chaired by Congressman John James. He offered a compelling picture of gross human rights violations and atrocities in Ethiopia and posed hard questions to Mike Hammer, US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa. Other members of the Committee also opined on the current tragedy facing Ethiopia and posed specific questions to the Honorable Mike Hammer.

I commend Ato Mesfin Mekonnen for providing a background brief to the hearing on our behalf. 

However, I was disappointed by evasive and diplomatic responses from the Special Envoy. Among other things Mr. Hammer failed to address the specific human rights crisis Amhara is facing. This lack of specificity in addressing the root causes of the current crisis demonstrates to me that the government of the United States does not really consider atrocities targeting Amhara as threats to the country’s continuity and or to US national security in Ethiopia and the rest of the Horn. US policy seems to focus singularly on US national security interests and not so much on the suffering of the Ethiopian people, especially Amhara. 

Congressman Sherman championed atrocities against Tigreans including those in what he repeatedly called “Western Tigray.” He singled out the government of Eritrea as accoountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of rape, crimes of ethnic cleansinga and genocide. This uneven handed representation does not serve Ethiopian victims. It is an incomplete and partisan view. 

I also noticed a glaring bias in US State Department policy towards Amhara that we must challenge without letting up. 

Below is my assessment of yesterdays’ hearing at the US Congress.I thank Ato Habtamu Assefa of Hibre Radio for giving me the opportunity to highlight key points. 

Today, I spent more than two hours providing as much of a complete assessment of the hearings and the implications for the Ethiopian people and for Ethiopia. I shall share with you my responses to numerous questions posed by supporters and members of the Zewdu Show, London. 

Video : embedded from Hiber Radio YouTube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from the video

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